Hey everyone.

If you’re still stopping by, (and a few of you are!) you can find my lastest pieces at http://talkingbaws.com/?s=adam+pyde

Neat story: I got that writing gig there because the editor there saw my social media blog on Twitter. #winning

Signing off.


Hit The P.O.S.T.

Source material: groundswell by Li C., Bernoff, J

How important is the Groundswell? Well its arguably the most important thing in business. The best companies listen to their customers and users and form their entire company around that. They use the Social Technographics Profile they have constructed and kept updated to feed them quality information. It all starts with people (users and customers). Trying to start anywhere else would be like trying to start playing a game at the final boss and not knowing what the controls are. How are you going to plan to beat Big Bad Boss Character without knowing what exactly you’re supposed to do? So it is beyond important to figure this out and it all starts now.


1. People – What are your customers ready for? What do they want? How are customers going to engage in your company? Depending what industry you are in then it determines just how much time needs to be spent here. If you’re a tech company, ideas here are relatively standard. Apps, web pages, forums, social media, etc. Internet and mobile stuff. If you’re a consumer product such as a vacuum or running shoes, people might be more likely to engage in a 3rd party forum for user reviews/conversation than a social network you may set up on your own site.

2. Objectives – What are your goals? Are you trying to get marketing information via communication with the groundswell or are you trying to invigorate sales? Both? What about tapping your internal groundswell to find ideas to better your organizational design? What about finding out how employees think they may work more efficiently or with greater satisfaction? There is generally 5 main objectives that anything and everything can be linked into.

  1. Listening: Research and understanding of your customers. What do they expect? Can get very important insight for marketing and R&D.
  2. Talking: Spreading messages about your company. You talking to customers. This is more about disseminating your company and creating awareness much like advertising.
  3. EnergizingThis is igniting conversation in others. Like poking and prodding, in the nicest way possible, to get others to share your company/message/product via word-of-mouth for brand selling.
  4. Supporting: Could be as simple as a FAQ. Could go the extra step and set up your own support and help forums/section on your website for either you to answer or other users to help each other.
  5. Embracing: The most challenging and should probably not be attempted if you haven’t aced 1 through 4  above. This is integrating your customers into your company and using their insights for R&D and marketing.

3. Strategy – How do you want things to change? What of the above 5 objectives are you trying to accomplish? Once this has been hammered out it also lets you set goals to judge whether or not you’ve been successful. Also you’ll have a better idea how to prepare your organization and which people to involve.

4. Technology – What applications are you going to use? What channels? Is it blogs? Wikis? Social networking? Most will involve a multitude of platforms throughout the process but picking the right ones at the start are crucial to successfully accomplishing your goal.

Some companies that are great at doing this are generally video game companies. When they create games they look at what people want for a game, what features, what experiences and try to find their own way to deliver that. Neatherrealm Studios did this when they rebooted the Mortal Kombat franchise in 2011 to great success. People wanted the game to get back to basics after the lore turned into a convoluted mess after Mortal Kombat: Deception.

The development team at Bioware is using feedback and consumer insight in developing Dragon Age: Inquisition. Fans liked parts of both the previous two main entries, Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2, and now Bioware is using that feedback to find the happy medium between both games on things such as environments, combat and character interaction. A lot of this feedback comes from Bioware’s own social network where members of the writing and development team are quite active.


Example Mass Effect 3 survey conducted by Bioware

Another good example of a company that underwent change after making a commitment to the groundswell was the WWE. In fact, the change in direction that involved social media and other outside inputs following this pipebomb from CM Punk is largely responsible for the re-invigoration of the company since 2011 when ratings and revenues had been on a continuous slide since 2006.

All these companies created POST process plans, maybe not in the exact words as this but likely in a very similar fashion, and have used it to do what their customers want.

And in the end, isn’t that the point?

Video Games Don’t Kill People

tdb_108_video_games_kill_people_by_shadowmaginis-d4ybhxx I was watching With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story the other day and there was an great segment of the documentary devoted to the heat that the comic book industry faced during the 50’s because it was comic books that were ruining and corrupting young people. The only proof presented was shoddy – 100/100 juvenile delinquents read comic books, which today would be like asking junior high boys if they played video games – and at the time it gave an excuse and a scapegoat for poor parenting.

“You’re not a bad parent, its those comic books ruining your kids!” – direct quote from the documentary.

Fast forward to 15 or 20 years ago around Columbine.

“You’re not a bad parent, its that heavy metal ruining your kids!”

And nowadays,

“You’re not a bad parent, its those video games ruining your kids!”

So where does that leave us? Maybe the issues of troubled youth and mental instability aren’t because of a specific form of multimedia culture but the lack of a proper upbringing. I like comics and movies and music and video games a whole lot. I’ve never shot anyone in the name of demonic music/movies/video games. I also had parents that were very stern with me on what was okay and what was not. Not very long ago after the shooting in Connecticut a major news outlet reported that “According to a friend of the shooter, his favourite weapon in a video game was the assault rifle!” Then the article continued that since he played a video game with an assault rifle that it made him do this atrocity (paraphrased). Neat. Sick reporting bro. I prefer shotguns in most shooting games. I also like to throw fire balls in RPG’s and perform fatalities in fighting games. Not once have I fired a shotgun at a human, tried to manipulate fire in my hand or rip someone in half. video-games-kill Maybe theses issues go beyond multimedia and into far more difficult avenues of society? But those lack the easy canned outrage that old ass senators, who’ve never held a controller in their life, can conjure up. Much like the ones before them blamed heavy metal. And the ones before them blamed comic books. Much easier to blame things you have no experience with. Its like wrestling and steroids. Any time a wrestler dies, STEROIDS! Not alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, etc. STEROIDS! Why? It is easy. It ruined baseball too so demonize anywhere it might be. Don’t mention that caffeine abuse has all the same negative side effects of steroids. Its STEROIDS! because of lazy reporting. Do you have a source? No. Ah whatever. STEROIDS. Take the easy way out. There is an argument to be made about a culture of violence in today’s society. But that culture doesn’t start and end with video games. Ugh.

Technology of the groundswell

Do you know how social media works?  Most people have no idea and are afraid to admit it. They assume Facebook acts just like Twitter acts like all the rest of them. Don’t be silly. That’d be like assuming a toaster and a television are the same thing because they both plug into the wall.


Twitter has to grab attention or people will just scan right over it. Think of tweeting as an entrance theme to a professional wrestler. Those songs have 5 seconds to pop and make the crowd hyped. All the best wrestling themes are distinct and are designed to that the opening grabs your attention. Glass breaking? Fruity trumpets?  Girls making sexy sounds? . Twitter works in the same way. You gotta grab attention in only 140 characters, quite often less, (5 seconds) to convince someone to click your link or follow you (get hyped).

Facebook is more like a movie, TV or video game trailer, or even just a commercial. With bigger posting space, the ability to add images, a status and links all in one block you have to make the most of it, and people read their Facebook’s differently than their Twitters.  Why waste any of the space you’re given? It would be like Budweiser spending 4 million on a Super Bowl ad to have half of it be dead air time.  Have an image that makes people stop scrolling, make a catchy title like “Taylor Swift dating no-name Canadian college student?” then have an image that grabs attention. A picture is worth 1000 words.


The main point is that you have to understand how people participate in that form of social media. The 5w’s+how? Is it a 2-way forum? Is everything user-generated? Is it optimized on mobile? If someone is participating on something like a forum for a company or news site, fictionally-not-so-fictionally the Bioware Social Network, and that web page is awful to deal with from a mobile device, then you’re missing out on time/content that your community could be adding to the community or even the company itself. Maybe it is best to create a proper app, because they generally make things quicker,  if you’re a larger company. Or if you’re a smaller one, make a m.COMPANYNAME.com compatible web page.

The world is mobile in 2013. It’s best to stop treating it like 2003.